For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
MASSENA, Jan. 27, 2012 – Registered nurses shouldn’t be afraid to report to work. Yet RNs at Massena Memorial’s emergency room are.
After violent incidents in recent months at the hospital – one involving a firearm, the RNs are worried about their safety.
The RNs have been trying since last September to address workplace violence in their contract negotiations, but the hospital has been unwilling to come to an agreement. In response, the RNs will conduct an informational picket from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb, 2, 2012, in front of the hospital on the corner of Maple Street and Hospital Drive.
The 90 RNs are represented for collective bargaining by the New York State Nurses Association, their most recent, four-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011. New York State Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell has confirmed that she will be on hand to offer her support.
The nurses say it’s not enough for the hospital to install more monitors and a panic button, and lock down the emergency room overnight. Nurses say the hospital needs to commit – in writing, in their contract – to ensuring adequate staff in the ER with the skills to handle patients who may compromise other patients' and employees' safety.
In the last five years, the nurses at Massena have observed that the numbers of high-risk patients has risen exponentially. The nurses note that other hospitals in the area have made improvements in employee safety – including one that hired a security specialist. Yet Massena management hasn‘t done more to promote staff and patient safety.
Nurses will be available during the event to discuss the issues.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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